Wheezing. Shortness of breath. Tightness in your chest. Having an asthma attack can be scary, and depending on how bad your symptoms are, you might need emergency treatment. An asthma action plan can help you treat your asthma on a daily basis, but it can also tell you what medicine to take and what steps to follow when you’re having an asthma attack. An asthma action plan is based on three different zones: green, yellow, and red. These zones are defined by your symptoms and how severe they are – the more severe the symptoms get, the closer you’re getting to respiratory distress or another life-threatening event. Your asthma action plan will tell you what symptoms to look for and how to respond.
Can asthma always be controlled?
Symptoms can change over time, as your asthma changes. Talk with your doctor about an asthma action plan that’s tailored to you and your asthma. Your doctor will help you identify the right trigger factors – the thing that makes your symptoms worse – so they can be avoided in the future. He or she might ask you if there are any situations where it’s hard for you to breathe, or where it’s hard for someone else (for example at school or work) to see that you’re having an attack. An asthma action plan is a good way of preparing for an attack and maximizing your asthma control.
If you have symptoms of asthma, read your asthma action plan to know what to do when you can’t breathe normally. If you know what to expect, an attack won’t catch you by surprise. An asthma action plan should include your doctor-recommended medicine, treatment for flare-ups and a map showing where you use your medicine.
Your doctor will ask about any triggers that make your symptoms worse – like pets in the house or tobacco smoke – so they can be avoided in the future.
Most people with asthma have mild symptoms and find that their asthma is well controlled with daily medication. If you’re using your asthma action plan to manage your symptoms, be sure to take the medicine at the right time and use the treatment for flare-ups when needed.
Everyone with asthma can benefit from using an asthma action plan. Learn here about Asthma Action Plan and how it can help you to treat your asthma on a daily basis.